Saturday, August 28, 2004
For some time now, I've had a casual interest in water policy. Huh? Right, I know, I know. Where'd that come from?
I'm thinking about that very question this morning--where'd that come from. It started with something I read in my MA program--probably Silko--about the desert Southwest, battles over subdivisions in places where land is cheap and water is invaluable (really valuable, that is). Folks in the Southwestern U.S., as I think of them, have been jockeying for aquifers since the Hoover Dam "stabilized" the Colorado River in 1935. Seems to me Silko mentions the art of fountain placement--of decorating the gates to new subdivisions with trickling or bubbling statuettes--as a kind of deeply persuasive appeal: you'll be fine on this parcel of land; there's water here.
This morning's water news comes from an article in the New Scientist--one of the feedlines I set up a looong time ago (in July), back when I had leisure time for reading stuff on the web, blogging--called "Asian farmers sucking the continent dry." It's an interesting report on the water crisis in Asia, the stakes for China and India, particularly. Carrying forward from the Stockholm Water Summit are moderate (and none-too-Doomsday, I say) concerns about the inevitability of water crises resulting from drilling, tapping, pumping, irrigating, and self-regulated use. The article cites details about urgent zones or "hot spots," such as Gujarat, "where water tables are dropping by 6 metres or more each year, according to Rajiv Gupta, a state water official." It also suggests--to no surprise--the problem of shifting governmental stances on large-scale resource management initiatives such as the River Interlinking Project in India.
The last Indian government proposed a massive $200 billion River Interlinking Project designed to redistribute water around the country. But the new government elected earlier this year has gone cool on the idea. In any case, the water supplied would probably come too late.
Much of this wraps together my casual interest, old conversations about alternative energies, matters such as the role of petro-fired water pumps in deep-reaching wells (vital for keeping Kansas uniformly arable, for example), and dry places, diasporic exile (as in give 'em that hunk of land). It also reverberates with some of the things I've been hearing this week about SU's program in cultural geography, projects such as mapping hunger in Onondaga County (and surrounds?), for one.Posted by Derek Mueller at August 28, 2004 11:11 AM to Rhetorico-Geography